Lesson 33: My first XC to KMSV


VOR works — flying against the needles, then use another VOR to decide how far. And calculate the time, as well. 

KMSV: short field T/O then simulate engine failure during T/O. Lower the nose, and managed landing back on the runway — I think I did fine on it. Need to lower the nose quicker.

KFWN, short approach over the small hill at end of runway 21 — it is a little bit scary as I don’t know if I can fly over the hill. But I managed to get it done. Did some slip to get rid of the altitude quicker during the approach.

Pilotage fly back to Caldwell. Did one landing without flaps. I was too fast, although I did land fine. After land, I turned too fast and short on runway to clear the runway. It is dangerous since the airplane CG is high, and it may be easy to fall over the wing tip.


Lesson 31: Feeling great

We did several T/O and Landings (touch and go’s and full stop) at KCDW, including 2 soft field T/Os, the first one is good,  We did a soft field landing, but I think I add power too late, the airplane already touched down — although it was a good landing. Then we did another soft field landing, this time, it holds there longer, but still touch down before I close the throttle.  Then we did one emergency simulation — engine failure simulation, and short approach.  Bob pulled the throttle and said “get me onto the runway”, So I began to turn base right away. I continue to handle it with flaps. When I am on final, I was still high — I was using 30 degree flaps. So  I did the slip myself — and I made that decision. Finally, I get landed it smoothly. Bob was happy with it since he did not prompt me at all during the whole process.

Then we did the second soft field T/O,  I may lower the nose too late, and the airplane continued climbing, not really a big deal though. And we headed to Lincoln Park. Nobody was there. So I descent down into the downwind, landed at runway 1. Then back taxi from runway 1, did one soft field T/O — it was very good.

After T/O, we headed back to KCDW. We get the ATIS, 7 miles north to runway 22. Would like to join the downwind runway 4. Tower cleared us to join the downwind. I joined the downwind at exactly 1200ft (the traffic pattern altitude), although Bob said I don’t need to be that exactly, I could be still descending.  Then I asked if I can do another short approach. Tower cleared us. I pulled the power myself, started the base. This time, I start my final too early, Bob corrected me — since I still need to go to centerline before over the runway. I was still high this time, and I did some S-turn over the runway (not really S-turn but some minor maneuvers), which lead to the side load issue — I should not do such maneuvers over the runway, I can do them before over the runway. But once over the runway, I should use the landing configurations, especially I have enough runway to use — I was about 100 feet high when over, and almost touchdown just pass the 3000 mark — I cleared the runway at Bravo, is also a sign that I don’t need be that rush to touch down during engine failure (simulated emergency landing).

Anyway, going to prepare the cross-country flight next week.

Lesson 30: Pattern Work in Lincoln Park

Continue pattern work — sky clear and wind calm.

I did 5 T/O and Landings in KCDW, 2 regular, 2 short field, — the last one, I tried to do a soft-field landing. And Bob said it feels more like a short field other than a shoft field.

4 out of 5 are OK, there is one, I think I am too left in the runway, and I had some rudder dance there — need to improve. Besides that, I need to bring the nose a little bit more during the landing, (not the flare).

After that, we headed to Lincoln Park. Tower advised there was airplane coming from north going to Morristown, at about 2500, so we need to maintain below 2000, I climb to 1700~1800ft, and the Lincoln Park is right in front — I did not find the runway at first as it is getting sunset, but the builds are clear there. Left hand traffic for runway 19. The first one, I did good — but it actually scared me a little bit — as I feel it is much faster than all the landings I did before although the speed indicator only says 65knots. I guess the narrow runway gives that feeling. Other than that, I think I did good as a short field landing. There are several deer on the grass at the end of runway 19 (around the number 1).

We taxi back, and did a short field T/O and get into the pattern again. This time, I approached too low — as the end of runway 19 there is a busy road, it is dangerous as too low, although the landing is Ok.

After T/O again, we headed north — yes north since KCDW tower does not like anybody coming from west directly. We fly around wanaque reservoir, and got the ATC, call the tower. Mark is at duty — I guess that’s him as his voice. I land as short field, and clear the runway at Bravo. Bob asked me if I can try not using brakes — but it is hard to hold my intuition to do so.

Anyway, I think today is quite productive . Last time,  I did not know how to land at Lincoln park at all — today it is improved.

BTW: I feel very confident and comfortable today to do all the T/O and Landings.

Lesson 29: Pattern Work at Greenwood Lake

We T/O from Caldwell — heads to Greenwood Lake directly — and I did not find it at all. I fly to Wanaque reservoir, and check the GPS and see the airport should be in front of me. But  I did not see it. Until there is another guy flying into Greenwood Lake and call on the radio — I see him, and see where he heads to, then I found the airport is at my left, quite away.  It is not a good sign at all.

Then I try to land at runway 24 for left hand traffic — some minor gusty wind there, push me up and down, mostly up.  So I missed tracking my airspeed, causing 2 go-around. The third time, I landed, but Bob had to intervene after touchdown for my side load.

We T/O from runway 24, heading back to KCDW. I did another 3 landings there, all are ok.



Lesson 28: Pattern work out side KCDW

Bob told me if the first couple of landings are good, we will head out. The first T/O and Landing were very good — from my view. Then the second one is not, side load (always cause me some trouble). Then the 3rd one are good. We headed out to Lincoln Park. We try to use runway 19, not good, so go-around. Then we found the runway 1 is actively used. Some mooney coming in and jump in front of us — I mean,  I was in the pattern already, but Bob thinks he is faster, so we gave way to him. He comes low, and he go-around too. We followed him to runway 1. Then I go around as well — I approached too high. Finally, I got it landed — with Bob’s help. There were so many people crowded at the restaurant here. And Bob said, I am the entertainment. :) That’s fine — I am happy to entertain so many people. However, seems the Lincoln park is too narrow for me, not sure if I am ready for it.

Then we headed to Greenwood lake. Runway 4 is being used, I landed there 3 times, all full-stops, all good.  Although Greenwood lake only 20 feet wider than Lincoln park — but it definitely makes different.

The 3 T/Os are all “soft-field”. Bob said I did good, he’s happy with them.

After that, we headed back. Before 10 miles north, Bob asked me prepare for the call, and I forgot the ATC — too long time not leaving and coming back, I already completely forgot about it. I guess it’s time to recover those knowledge and routines.



Lesson 20: pattern work and landing

8 T/O — most of them went very smooth — trimmed well, rudders are good, climbing are stable. I am happy with my T/O. Bob was happy with my T/O, so he gave score 2 today. (1 is highest). Nice.

(Frankly speaking, I am no longer scared by T/O around my lesson 16. Now, today, it is my first time, I feel very calm during T/O — I even try to poke the golf club now. I guess anything if I can do it in calm, that means I am ready for it. So it’s still long way to go for my landing).

Another thing I feel quite calm is my radio communication — although when the traffic is heavy in the pattern and Tower gives complicated instructions, I still need Bob to help, I don’t feel nervous too much any more, that’s a good sign). Regarding Radio communication, the archive of liveatc.net is great — I typically find the one when I communicate with ATC, and figure what I did wrong, what I did right, and what I did right but still improve, in this way — by hearing myself back, I can easily find my own problem — one example, as a foreign, I try to speak fast to catch up people, but I speak too fast, faster than a normal native English speak on the radio, make my speaking harder to understand. After I heard it, I starts to calm down myself, and try to speak slowly, I think that helps a lot — it also helps the ATC gives me instruction slower (somehow, if I speak too fast, ATC also speak faster than I can understand).

Pattern work are also stable and mostly good. One thing need to be improved is that, after abeam the number, 10degree flap, ideally, I need get about 200-300 ft out before I turn base — but I feel I always keep there 1100~1200ft (900~1000AGL) with 1700RPM and no change of my speed or altitude unless I reduce power to 1500RPM (Did I trimmed too well?).

well anyway, mostly I have about 800~700 ft when I turn final (600~500ft AGL), I get there by reduce power almost idle on my base

Bob demonstrated soft-field T/O once today. I will try it next time.

The first landing, I almost got — however, I pulls nose a little bit more before settle — there was one bounce there.

Then the 2nd landing, higher, so I decided go-around before Bob calls — he thought that’s a good decision

the 4th one is full stop, and we taxi back to rwy 22.

the last 2 landings, I did all my self

During the whole pattern, I speak loud and clear each time I do any configuration change or maneuvers. In this way, I can remind myself the steps clearly. I think that’s good to improve.